TadasanaMountain Pose aka Equal Standing Pose or Samasthiti
Tada (ताड) = Mountain
Asana (आसन) = Pose, Posture, Seat
Tadasana (ताडासन) = Mountain Pose
Samasthiti (समस्थिति) = Equal, Balanced Standing
(Devanagari Script from www.wikapedia.org)
Tadasana or mountain pose, is the ultimate foundation for all standing poses. It is a basic stance of standing upright with good posture. The pose is engaged but not rigid and cultivates grounding in the feet, and a “root to rise” energy as the crown of the head lifts to the sky. It allows us to stand in a receptive but powerful stance. It can be an easy pose to take for granted, but when given its full respect and attention we can dramatically improve our postural line in the spine and develop better balance.
This posture did not appear in yoga texts until 1966 in Iyengar’s “Light on Yoga”. It did appear ,along with other asanas that are now part of the yoga lexicon, in “A Manual of Gymnastics” by Vyayama Dipika in 1867 and in “Anatomy of a Contortionist” by Thomas Dwight in 1889. Yoga had gathered a great deal of postures from the gymnastic and acrobatic community that merged into the yoga sequences and become part of the modern yoga sequences. The hatha yoga variations of tadasana have a wider stance of the feet than the vinyasa tradition. You will also find tadasana at the start of most vinyasa classes and the beginning of surya namaskar or sun salutations. In the ashtanga tradition it is listed as samasthiti, a balanced standing pose.
The pose shape is the same whether you call it tadasana or samasthiti. Tadasana is the actual pose and the word samasthiti, however is more of a command of your attention. By its very definition samastitihi asks us to become aware of the balanced feeling and to tune into where our weight is most centered. Samasthiti opens us up to the mindful attention we need to bring to our postures. As tadasana is often the first pose of a sequence it is not surprising then to hear the term samasthiti added to encourage the art of mindfulness from the very beginning of the set.
How to do tadasana
For better balance take the feet wider. Try different hand variations to mix things up.
Preparatory poses and exercises
Thigh Rotation- with straight leg
Crocodile Pose- Yin
ReferencesIyengar, B.K.S. (1966) Light on Yoga, Yoga Dipiki. (3rd Edition) NY, United States of America. Schocken Books Inc.
Singleton, M. (2010) Yoga Body, the Origins of Modern Posture Practice. NY, United States of America. Oxford University Press, Inc.
Swenson, D. (1999) Ashtanga Yoga, the Practice Manual. (6th Edition) (Woodruff, C, Ed.). Houston, TX, United States of America. Ashtanga Yoga Productions.
Chris Loebsack, 500 E.R.Y.T, fell in love with yoga in 1995 and began teaching in 2003. Chris uses the power of yoga to create a space for students that cultivates trust, playfulness and Divine connection with themselves and with community. Living by her mantra, Clarity, Integrity and Love, she draws upon her partner yoga practice to share the healing power of touch and safe intimacy. A passion for discovering subtlety in movement has lead Chris to deepen her education with the Anatomy Studies for Yoga Teachers® kinesiology program. Her playful yet focused classes are filled with user friendly gems of applied anatomy leaving students with a greater understanding of how to find comfort and space in their bodies and smiles beaming across their faces. She encourages teachers to set a higher standard of excellence through knowledge and has become a valuable mentor to many upcoming yoga educators.
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